« Birth Month Traits Meme | Main | Read: The Taste of Silence - Adam Kirsch »

Read: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Good Writing

Leave out adverbs, skip description, and keep the writer out of sight.
By Elizabeth A. Brown

When my teenage son picked up Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Good Writing, it fell open to Rule 3: “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.”

“I wish my teachers could read this,” my son said. “They tell us not to use ‘said.’ They think other words make us sound better, like we have a bigger vocabulary.”

Which is precisely Elmore Leonard’s point: Good writing is not about the writer (and the way he sounds or the size of her vocabulary), but about the story.

The writer must remain invisible.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter


This is something that I think too. It is not so much about how he/she sounds or the size of his/her vocabulary, but about the story. :)

It's me again! Guess what, my friend -- I gave you a writing award! Come see, come see. :)

And big hugs to you! :)

Good advice about "said!" When I was a newbie fiction writer, I thought I was sooooo cool because I used (in my trunk novel) "expostulated" as a dialogue tag. :-D

The horror, the horror...